Practice makes perfect for Plato
Jason Plato has fired out a significant warning to his rivals ahead of qualifying at Snetterton after setting a blistering pace in the final practice session.
MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save were the team to beat at the Norfolk venue last year and the only thing that seems to have changed this time around is that the MG6 is going even quicker. Sam Tordoff took pole position along with the qualifying lap record in 2013, but after a sequence of early laps in FP2 today Plato has already set a pace nearly half a second faster than his younger team-mate’s previous benchmark.
Such was Plato’s dominance that second placed Colin Turkington was more than a second behind in his eBay Motors BMW, whilst the Mercedes A Class of Adam Morgan produced a stellar last gasp lap to go third. Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson was subsequently relegated to fourth after his own encouraging tour earlier in the session.
There was a rather sombre mood around the paddock ahead of the session when it was confirmed that reigning champion Andrew Jordan would miss the running after his hefty shunt at Riches earlier today. The Pirtek Racing driver has been taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up after suffering with signs of concussion due to the accident. The team is hopeful repairs will be completed ahead of qualifying although Jordan will need to be cleared by the BTCC’s medical team in order to take part.
Back on the track and Jack Goff was busy continuing his impressive VW bow by setting the fifth fastest time, to follow his second place in the opening session. The BTCC young gun’s VW was only completed by his Team BMR squad earlier this week but the signs suggest he’s immediately on the pace and enjoying life in his new machine. Menu, who set the fastest time this morning, backed up the performance shown by the team by also setting another top ten time this afternoon.
Rob Collard’s consistent 2014 form looks set to continue as the multiple BTCC race winner claimed sixth on the timesheets ahead of Tordoff and Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram, who has also enjoyed an eye-catching day so far. Matt Neal wedged his Honda Civic Tourer into ninth but team-mate Gordon Shedden suffered with a puncture later in the session as his team ordered him to ground his car to a halt at Riches with two minutes left on the clock.
There were no such problems for Plato, however, as the double champion made his mark at the top of the field. Having won just once so far this season Plato knows that pole position would set him up in the best possible way to reignite his championship challenge at Snetterton tomorrow.
Click here for the final classification from Free Practice Two. Qualifying for Round 16 of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship takes place at 15:20 later today and will be streamed live at www.itv.com/btcc.